‘Barbecue’ Grills Up Layers of Comedy with a Slice of Commentary

By C.J. Williams

 

Written by Robert O’Hara; Directed by Summer Williams; Scenic Design by Jessica Pizzuti; Costume Design by Tyler Kinney; Lighting Design by Jen Rock; Sound Design by David Wilson. Presented by Lyric Stage Theater, 140 Clarendon St. Boston, MA.

 

“Barbecue”, the new comedy by Robert O’Hara currently being staged at the Lyric, dives right in. Into comedy, into the half-tragic, half-sidesplitting look at addiction in the O’Mallery family, and into a park where the team of dysfunctional characters are setting up for an intervention with their drug-and-alcohol-addled sister, Zippity Boom.

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Hell – It Ain’t Paradise, but “Paradise” May Show the Way Out

 

By CJ Williams

 

‘Paradise’ – Written by Laura Maria Censabella; Directed by Shana Gozansky; Scenic Design by Jenna McFarland Lord; Costume Design by Gail Astrid Buckley; Lighting Design by Karen Perlow. Presented by Central Square Theater, 450 Mass Ave. Cambridge, MA -2139 through May 7

 

Hell is other people, goes the famous saying. But perhaps the proverb is just plain wrong. In “Paradise”, we get a glimpse of another possibility: maybe, just maybe, Paradise – and freedom from prejudice, loneliness, and lovelessness, can only be found by bridging the judgment gap between you and me.

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Huntington’s ‘Who and the What’ Examines American Muslim Family Life From the Inside

 

By Mike Hoban

 

‘The Who & the What’ – Written by Ayad Akhtar; Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara; Scenic Design by Cristina Todesco; Costume Design by Mary Lauve; Lighting Design by Annie Wiegand; Sound Design by M.L. Dogg, and Original Music by Saraswathi Jones. Presented by Huntington Theatre Company at Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St., Boston through May 7

 
“Anything worth believing in, is worth questioning,” a friend with a healthy skepticism of all things institutional once told me. That thought came to mind while watching “The Who & the What,” the intense but often comical drama now being staged by the Huntington Theatre at the Calderwood Pavilion. And while questioning long held beliefs that are accepted as truth – particularly those of the religious sort – may be a healthy intellectual exercise and a path to true wisdom, challenging the belief systems of others usually has consequences, as it does for the central character in this very funny and thoughtful play.

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“ART” (2nd Story Theatre, Warren, RI)

 

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

 

2nd Story Theatre’s latest show is the 1998 Tony Award winning play, “Art.”  It is Yasmina Reza’s serio-comedy and is a sophisticated study of the nature of friendship. One of Marc’s best friends, Serge, has bought a very expensive painting: all white with white diagonal lines. As Marc and Serge argue about its value and the definition of “art,” another friend, Yvan is pulled into the fray. Soon the discussions become less theoretical and

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“SEUSSICAL” (Rhode Island College Theatre)

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

 

Rhode Island College Theatre’s closing show of their season is “Seussical, the Musical”, which creates the witty, wild and whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. It reveals a world where anything is possible from an elephant in a tree, to a person too tiny to see, to a heroic child and dreams running wild. The show is a magical, musical world where helping a friend, never giving up and keeping a promise comes true.

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“THE GREAT GATSBY” (University of Rhode Island Theatre)

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

 

URI’s closing show of their season is “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This classic novel has been adapted for the stage by Simon Levy, it remains the evocative story of the pursuit of wealth and romance in The Jazz Age of  the roaring 1920’s. Enigmatic self-made millionaire Jay Gatsby pursues the married, moneyed Daisy Buchanan as his party guests drink and Charleston their frenzied way through life at his opulent Long Island mansion.

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‘Altar Boyz’ A Heavenly Romp

 

By Michele Markarian

 

Altar Boyz – Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker.  Book by Kevin Del Aguila. Co-Directed by Tyler Rosati and Ceit Zweil, with Music Direction by Matthew Stern. Presented by Stoneham Theatre, 395 Main Street, Stoneham, through April 9.

 

The first image one gets of the Altar Boyz is five hooded figures in long white robes, silver crosses on their backs, entering the stage to ominous sounding music from the four-piece band behind them. It’s a Spinal Tap moment, and one that made me laugh out loud. For the next eighty minutes, if I wasn’t laughing, I was smiling. A lot. This is one super fun show with a tight and talented cast.

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Theater Mirror Short Takes: “The Little Dog Laughed” & “Our American Hamlet”

by Mike Hoban

 

“The Little Dog Laughed” – Take Your Pick Productions

The Happy Medium Theater Company may have taken their final bow with last summer’s production of Ronan Noone’s “Brendan”, but HM founders Mikey DiLoreto and Audrey Lynn Sylvia have gotten off to a roaring start with their new company, Take Your Pick Productions, with a very funny and touching production of “The Little Dog Laughed” by Douglas Carter Beame.

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“Inherit the Wind” at Ocean State Theatre

 

By Richard Pacheco

 

“The current production of “Inherit the Wind” at Ocean State Theatre sparkled with dazzling performances, propelled by energy, sincerity and conviction. The play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, which debuted in 1955. The story fictionalizes the 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial as a means to discuss the then-contemporary McCarthy trials.

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The Quixotic, Passionate Drive of Golda Meir

 

By Michele Markarian

 

‘Golda’s Balcony’ – Written by William Gibson. Directed by Judy Braha. Presented by the New Repertory Theatre, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown through April 16.

 

Golda Meir was a fascinating character – passionate, driven, with a sense of personal destiny that was tied in to the “paradise” that she believed to be the State of Israel.  Her early childhood was spent in Kiev, where she remembered her father boarding the door with wooden planks to keep out the pogroms. The family emigrated to Milwaukee, where the young Golda heard Ben Gurion speak, which marked the beginning of her life as a warrior and champion for the burgeoning State of Israel.

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